|Posted on April 9, 2018 at 3:40 PM|
By: Brittany Bearer
“It’s like riding a bicycle!” We’ve all heard the phrase, but what does it really mean and how does it relate to your dancer? Riding a bicycle is just another phrase for the term, muscle memory, describing a once difficult skill that has now become second nature. The muscles’ themselves have no literal memory, so the term muscle memory is a misnomer, and should really be called the subconscious memory. The subconscious memory stores information in the brain that is readily accessible by the non-conscious mind, and that turns into the involuntary muscle movement we all know such as walking or going up and down steps and the key to it is repetition.
Repetition is important whether your study for a test, driving a car, or twirling across the room. Repeating the same movements consistently every week allows your young aspiring dancer’s mind and body to master and repeat the same quality of movement. The more consistent the repetition the faster they can learn and apply corrections.
Repetition is also important as your dancers learns more choreography in preparation for performance. When your dancer rehearses multiple times a week, this allows the dancer to master the choreography and frees the mind to work on other important aspects of their dancing such as stage entrances and exits, emotional performance quality, props, and dancing in large groups.
As your dancer gets older you may ask why it is necessary for my child to continue training so multiple days a week? It is important to understand that your dancer is still growing and learning new, more complicated steps and patternings everyday and expecting them to pick up the movement without repetition can set a student up for failure. Old habits from our everyday lives or learning the newest, most popular dance move they saw online, can disrupt our technique and training, so it takes a lot of repetition to change and why you hear your child’s dance teacher say, “again” so many times!
Take advice for pro-tennis star Billie Jean King when she said, “champions keep playing till they get it right!”